During Penny’s 17 years at Dungarvin, she’s supported multiple individuals with varying challenges and issues. But for the past six she has found her niche in working with one woman who decided she wanted to live on her own and raise a puppy. This woman didn’t want to upset or disappoint her housemates or her staff, but Penny encouraged her to speak up and not to apologize for her wants. She did, and now lives in her own apartment – with her dog.
The NADSP (National Association of Direct Support Professionals) Code of Ethics tenet that Penny lives by every day is Self Determination. She urged this woman to speak up, make her wants and opinions known, and ensure that she was not speaking for this woman.
Another woman Penny works with loves to throw parties. The woman is known for saying, “my claim to fame here is that I’m known as the hostess with the moistest!” She and Penny have a delightful time planning and pulling off parties. But Penny also helps her in other aspects.
Such as the time the woman wanted to make a change regarding her legal status. Penny’s nominator, Susan Ranaghan Gichohi, tells the story:
“A woman Penny supports has been working with the local advocacy board to have a legal guardian appointed. Midway through the process of one of her friends being appointed her guardian, she had second thoughts and wanted to ask a different friend to take on this role in her life. She was so worried that her friend would be upset with her or that other team members would be angry with her. Penny encouraged her that it was her right to find out her options, and eventually the woman spoke up and asked her lawyer to pursue a different path.”
Through Penny’s supports and encouragement, the woman is now confident in taking control of her own life – as it should be!